Case in point: Hurricane Ridge and Neah Bay. Yes, I've been to both of these places with Justin in the past, but that doesn't mean that I can't savor them again with someone new.
[Can I just quickly point out that I absolutely love the fact that he is so enthralled by nature? I think Patrick is so much more expressive of his feelings, and I get so much enjoyment from his enjoyment]
Because we both had Sunday and Monday off, I wanted to plan something that would take an overnight stay to accomplish. Because Neah Bay is about 4.5 hours away and I wanted to catch the sunset, it would be nearly impossible to do it all in one day, so I set up a hotel in Port Angeles for Sunday night.
We left for Port Angeles by 8am on Sunday, and planned to drive directly up to Hurricane Ridge and hike the Hurricane Hill trail. This would be our first official hike together and would hopefully gauge our current skill levels and how out of shape we were. (I don't hike in winter, so I have to re-up and start from scratch basically every year). I remembered the hike being fairly easy up until the last little bit, where the 700 ft elevation gain is probably done all at once.
Unfortunately, we didn't even get to the trail head. It being Memorial Day weekend, everybody and their mother had it in their minds to hike at the Ridge. In fact, we had to wait in line for about 30 minutes just to get past the gate for the drive up. There was no parking close to the Hill, and then they also had part of the road blocked off because they were doing maintenance on the trail off and on over the next couple of months. So, we walked the road until about 2 miles in and realized that not only were we already too tired for all this (the trail itself was to be 1.6 miles each way) but we wouldn't have enough time to get through any of it once we reached the trail head. So, we turned around and headed back to the car. We still got some awesome views, however. So it wasn't a complete waste.
An interesting side note: on our way to Port Angeles, on Highway 3 before Gorst, we encountered a massive convoy of incredibly cool custom Chevy Camaros. There had to have been at least 15 of them passing us by. And after we had turned around from our hike, we noticed the parking lot was full of Chevy Camaros. The same Chevys that had passed us on the highway hours before. Crazy!
We got to the hotel just in time to check in (which was the plan) at 3pm, and then headed directly out to Neah Bay (still a 1.5 hour drive away). We were going to eat dinner there and then head out to the trail head.
Oddly enough, we were doing almost exactly what Justin and I had done in 2013, except this time we were going to skip The Warmhouse completely. There weren't very many food options at Neah Bay so I figured Linda's Pizza was still best. So, after we picked up our recreational permit (which I had completely forgotten that we needed) at the general store, we ordered a pizza-to-go at Linda's and headed down the road to the Cape Flattery trail head. This time, instead of having a camcorder, I had a nice Sony A7R mirrorless camera and a decent 24-120mm lens to get some good photos.
As per my anxiety trends, we were way too early for sunset. By like, 2 hours. I took all the photos I could possibly think of, and we hung out and enjoyed the scenery until about 8pm where I secured a spot for my time lapse.
I didn't do it long enough. Oh well. Still beautiful shots.
After sunset, we walked back in the dark and made our way back to the hotel in Port Angeles where we promptly found out that the card key didn't work. It worked originally. But now it was almost 12am and the phone number wasn't connecting to anyone. The office was closed; but luckily a knock on the glass woke somebody up and they had to re-do our card key. Thank goodness too, because we had no other options. We had stuff in the room, otherwise Patrick said he'd just drive home (it was another 2 hours). But I doubt I would have gotten a refund because how could we prove that we hadn't been there all night?
We woke up at 6am the next day so that we could be out of there by 7. I had one stop to make on the way home and I had scheduled my plasma appointment at 11:30 so I wanted to be back with enough time to spare to take a shower before leaving. Also, Patrick had to clean up his old apartment because he was <NOT MOVING IN WITH ME> moving into another apartment with his step-son Jordan. *cough*
The stop was at Red Apple Market in Bremerton, where I heard they sold Viking Skyr Ice Cream (I call it Sker, but I think it is pronounced Skeer) by the pint. Yes, that's right - the same Skyr that is sold at the Blackberry Festival that I go to every September. At $4.99 a pop it wasn't cheap, but considering that I can only normally get it once a year I was pretty damn happy to find a place that could sell it to me year round.
So all in all, not a bad trip. The sunset photos turned out great thanks to the addition of some clouds for the light to bounce off of this time. I got to spend AN ENTIRE DAY with my boyfriend, which like, never happens, so totally worth all of it. Plus, this was our first overnight trip together. So perfect.